Effective sales training that makes a genuine impact on a team’s performance starts with selecting the right facilitator and training program for your organisation’s specific needs.  Each individual in a sales team brings a variety of skills, underlying motivations and potential to the table, so choosing a trainer that can adapt their teachings to your team’s individual training requirements is essential.

Mark Garbelotto of the Australian Academy of Sales believes that we face a situation today of rising education on the part of the buyer.  The internet has allowed them to become so much better informed, to the point where, when they are ready to buy, they often know more about the product or service they want than those responsible for providing it. The marketplace has also expanded so that we are all competing on a global scale, as well as a local one.  As business owners or trainers, we need to adapt as our environment does.

The 10/20/70 Principle

Kirk Peterson, of Kirk Peterson Performance Shift, refers to what he calls the 10/20/70 principle of training. The trainer is responsible for delivery of the training, but that amounts to only 10% of the investment in total. A further 20% is derived from the action plan developed during the training session.

The majority of the benefit that comes from training, a huge 70%, comes from the trainee putting that plan into action in the role and beyond.

So, of course, while everyone can be trained, the benefit returned on investment in that training depends on the individual’s capacity to absorb and apply that training. High performing sales staff possess a blend of both hardwired potential and technical sales skills. The bland transfer of information cannot achieve the desired result on its own.

Sales training can fall short of its intended outcomes unless it is customised and aimed directly at the individual sales trainee, whilst also taking in to account the required sales process for success.

Customise your training – plan for success

Customisation of all training should not only take into account the nature of the sales process itself, but also the particular needs of each sales trainee in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.  Their training should be designed in light of the target demographic, the product or service they’re selling, the required sales process, and what they bring to the table as an individual.

The best way to determine how to target sales training for each individual is through a personality assessment like the Caliper Profile.

There are several important traits to look for when conducting a sales trainee profile. How do they handle rejection? How motivated are they to reach a sale? Can they communicate their ideas clearly? How hungry are they? Are they comfortable in new situations with people they don’t know? How flexible are they in their facilitation of the customer’s needs?

All these factors add up to the difference between a high-performing sales person and a low-performing one, a difference that could make or break your company’s bottom line.

Any manager worth his salt knows that finding and identifying the innate talents of their direct reports is the essence of successful development.

As Peterson says, “If you can find a way [to identify those innate talents] or use tools [such as profiling] to allow you to find them more easily, it’s gold.”